Source: The Hitavada      Date: 19 Jul 2017 15:27:48

WITH both China and Pakistan heightening their military activities along the Indian borders, the two countries appear to be acting in tandem to keep India on tenterhooks and keep its military strength stretched. Both neighbours acting simultaneously and persistently can hardly be a coincidence. Whatever is happening on both the borders appears to be a well-designed strategy put into practice by the two hostile neighbours. Despite periodic warnings from India, Pakistan has stopped neither its facilitation of infiltration by groups of terrorists nor has it ceased its violation of ceasefire. China, on the other hand, continues to scale up its stand-off in the Doklam area, known as Trijunction, bordering Bhutan. 

The two countries indeed are testing India’s patience and also its ability to respond to their provocative actions, militarily and diplomatically. India has made it known to China that it was willing to solve all issues with Beijing diplomatically but simultaneously take all measures that are necessary to protect its territories from foreign aggression. It was in the light of this that India has adopted the two-pronged approach to deal with the unprecedented Chinese aggressive and even threatening posturing in the border areas in recent weeks.

The muscle-flexing in the form of live-fire drills that the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) of China carried out in the mountainous autonomous Tibetan region on Monday was not without purpose. China was testing its military capabilities in the high altitude mountainous terrain and its ability to deploy forces at short notice and simultaneously browbeat India with the show of its military capacity. Official Chinese media has already begun to write threatening pointers to India, reminding New Delhi of the 1962 humiliation. Concurrently the PLA too is showing its fangs.

Though Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi and the Government of India may not have bargained for the manner in which the Chinese leadership is behaving right now, India has justifiably begun to realise the necessity to be prepared to challenge the Chinese blow hot blow cold posturing. The Indian Government has taken the necessary measures to strengthen its border security and also made it known to China that the 1962 episode is history and that China will be confronting a new, economically resurgent and militarily well equipped India. It is unfortunate that the Chinese leadership has chosen to overlook the friendly gestures that Prime Minister Mr. Modi has been making ever since he took over as the head of the Government.

But it should become very clear to Indian Government that it has to deal with two hostile neighbours all the time and it can never think of lowering its guard at any moment, even if there are diplomatic developments for smoothening of tensions. At no point of time India can afford to take the word of these two neighbours at its face value. This also calls for India to raise its military preparedness to a new level that will take care of the Chinese’ intermittent muscle-flexing and silence Pakistan at the same time. India has to deal with these two neighbours from a position of strength.

This Chinese hostile behaviour towards India will have its own repercussions on bilateral and multilateral relations and apart from diplomatic stand-off it could also affect trade relations. In fact China right now is the biggest trading partner of India and has huge infrastructure projects lined up with Chinese investment across the country. It is not known whether China is willing to overlook the tremendous business opportunity that India presents. But definitely a strong public opinion is building up against the Chinese hostilities and demands are rising in the country to snap business relations with China.